A pair of pedestrians and their dog cross Laurel Street at Front Street on a rainy day in April in downtown Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

A pair of pedestrians and their dog cross Laurel Street at Front Street on a rainy day in April in downtown Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Wet April sets new record on West End

FORKS — Last month was the wettest April on record at Quillayute Airport near Forks, which has seen more than its share of rain since fall, the National Weather Service said.

The airport west of Forks had 14.43 inches of precipitation in April, eclipsing the previous record of 13.90 inches set in 1992, meteorologists said.

For the seven-month period between Oct. 1 and April 31, Quillayute Airport had 117.95 inches of precipitation.

That’s the second-most rain for that period since record-keeping began on the West End in 1966, said Josh Smith, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle.

The record for rain at Quillayute Airport was 1975-‘76, when 120.30 inches fell between Oct. 1 and April 30, Smith said.

The West End isn’t the only region emerging from a historically wet season.

The National Weather Service measured 44.99 inches of rain at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport between Oct. 1 through April 30, the most ever for that period.

The previous record for Seattle rainfall from Oct. 1 to April 30 was 44.53 inches set in 2015-2016, the Weather Service said.

Portland had its second-wettest winter ever with more than 45.5 inches of rain.

For comparison, William R. Fairchild Memorial Airport in Port Angeles had 34.51 inches of rain since Oct. 1, according to Weather Service statistics.

Jefferson County International Airport near Port Townsend had 13.53 inches since Oct. 1.

Quillayute Airport is the only weather station on the North Olympic Peninsula to keep official records, Smith said.

The other stations are too new or have insufficient data to be used for historical comparisons, Smith said.

Observations at William R. Fairchild, for example, go back to 1998.

“That’s not long enough,” Smith said.

“It wouldn’t really say much, because it’s just not long enough period of record.

“And there are outages,” Smith added, “and we don’t quality-control the data.”

Like Fairchild, Jefferson County International is “decent for weather information” but lacks sufficient climate information, Smith said.

In addition to having its wettest April ever, Quillayute Airport had its second-wettest March, its third-wettest October and fourth-wettest November, Smith said.

December, January and February did not make the top 10 for precipitation at Quillayute Airport, Smith said.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

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